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How do I NOT run Dell Diagnostics?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by ChrisMoseng, Jun 12, 2010.

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  1. ChrisMoseng

    ChrisMoseng Thread Starter

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    I recently tackled a friend's failed hard drive on her Dell Latitude D610 laptop. It's a 60 GB drive that was only booting to a blue screen of death. I removed the drive, hooked it up to a desktop, and ran Spinrite on the drive (for 2 days). It recovered a bad sector and gave the rest of the drive a clean bill of health.

    Feeling pretty confident, I put the drive back in the friend's laptop, only to have it boot straight from the BIOS into Dell's diagnostic mode. I exited out of the diagnostic mode and tried to boot again. Same thing, no Windows screen, just straight into Dell Diagnostics. I've tried running the diagnostics (nothing wrong) and restoring the BIOS presets, but I can't get it to skip the Diagnostics and just boot into Windows. Any ideas?
     
  2. Hughv

    Hughv

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    Does the drive appear in the BIOS?
    Have you tried changing the boot order(F12?).
     
  3. TheOutcaste

    TheOutcaste

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    Sounds like the Diagnostics partition is set active, instead of the Windows partition.

    Hook it back up to the Desktop, go into Disk Management and make sure the Windows partition is set active. The diagnostics is often the first partition on the drive, and is only 40-50 MB in size.

    To run Disk Management, click Start | Run (or press WinKey+R), type diskmgmt.msc, press Enter
     
  4. Rich-M

    Rich-M

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    Not trying to be stupid but by any chance is diagnostics disk still in cd drive? I don't know how else it would show up....
     
  5. ChrisMoseng

    ChrisMoseng Thread Starter

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    Yes, i tried booting from the hard drive after pushing F12- no luck. I can still boot from a CD, but all attempts at a hard drive boot end up in Dell Diagnostics.

    I don't actually have the Dell Diagnostics CD- the software that's running is actually on the Hard Drive itself.

    I'll try OutCaste's idea and see how that turns out.
     
  6. ChrisMoseng

    ChrisMoseng Thread Starter

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    OK, ran spinrite again- this time, it logged two uncorrectable errors. When I ran disk management, I got 3 partitions: 13.11GB FAT (this one can be mounted and has the dell diagnostics stuff on it), 902MB Unknown, and 40.89 GB unallocated space. The 2nd two partitions don't seem to be mountable, so I'm thinking I may be out of luck. That 40.89 GB of unallocated space should have the operating system and everything else from the drive. Let me know if anyone has a suggestion other than formatting it and starting from scratch.
     
  7. fodelement

    fodelement

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    If you have an XP cd around place it into the dell and boot off of it, after it loads all the drivers and files press R to go to windows recovery console. Select your proper HD. Then type in

    diskpart

    sel disk 0

    Lis par

    Sel par X (X is the partition that has your windows on it)


    active

    exit

    then type

    fixmbr

    (it may ask you to press Y to continue)

    exit

    then reboot your PC off the HDD. Should now boot into windows. Assuimg the HDD is good as well as the OS installation.
     
  8. TheOutcaste

    TheOutcaste

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    @fodelement - The XP Recovery Console version of Diskpart does not support any of those commands, the only thing if can do is create and delete partitions. The XP Recovery Console has no means of setting a partition Active, a major oversight by MS I think.
    And running fixmbr will overwrite the Dell MBR which gives access to the Recovery Partition. Since the drive can boot into the diagnostics, there's nothing wrong with the MBR.

    @ChrisMoseng - I would expect the Diagnostics to be on the 905 MB partition, and the 13.11 GB the Recovery partition. Those sizes sound more like the sizes you'd find on a system with Vista, though a 60 GB drive is on the small side for a Vista system.

    Are they on the disk in that order? Doesn't really matter, but I would expect a layout like this:
    Partition 1 905 MB
    Partition 2 40.89 GB
    Partition 3 13.11 GB

    With Partition 2 being active. To see which partition is active in Disk management, right click each partition. The Mark Partition as Active option will be grayed out on the Active partition.

    In any case, I'd suggest using TeskDisk to see if it can recover the partition info for the unallocated space and write it to the partition table.
    You can list and copy files before actually writing anything to the disk to see if it found the correct info, so it's pretty safe to use.
    You can also set the partition active, or use Disk Management for that once it's recovered. Be sure to check out the links in the Documentation sections, several good examples of using the program there. Or post a screen shot of any section you have a question about.
     
  9. fodelement

    fodelement

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    So is Diskpart.exe loaded from the OS or is it actually on the XP disc?
     
  10. TheOutcaste

    TheOutcaste

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    Diskpart.exe is a program you can run in Windows.

    The Recovery Console Diskpart command is a built in command. The only thing they have in common is the name.
    I don't know which DLL/SYS file handles it, but it is not a separate executable program. It's loaded off of the CD, as it can be used with a brand new hard drive that is totally blank.
     
  11. ChrisMoseng

    ChrisMoseng Thread Starter

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    The layout of the partitions has the 13GB partition, then the small unknown partition, then the large 40GB of unallocated space. The 13GB is the only one that gets a drive letter in Windows and, as far as I can tell, it only contains the Dell Diagnostic files. I'll give TestDisk a try and see how that goes. Thanks for all the suggestions.
     
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